Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

Summer canning in York County

Lucky canning house, probably 1930s
Lucky canning house, probably 1930s

It is canning season again. As I indicated in the my York Sunday News column on York County canning houses a few years ago, there were commercial canneries of all sizes throughout 20th century York County. As far as I know, any remaining are very large scale, such as Hanover Foods.

An October 1939 York Dispatch article, from the York County Heritage Trust microfilm, recaps a successful canning season at Lucky, Chanceford Township. It reads:

“Farmers’ Canning Company Closes Successful Season
New Bridgeville, Oct. 13.—Yesterday the curtain fell on another successful canning season of the Farmers’ Canning company of Lucky, E.O. Moore, proprietor. The history of the factory dates back to the fall of 1919, when the factory was operated under the names of Moore and Gipe. The historical picture of this factory is not one of entire success as it was marred twice by tragic incidents. In 1924, the factory was destroyed by fire, and in 1933 the factory was damaged by the heavy flood of that year. The factory specializes in the canning of corn and tomatoes, which are grown by the farmers of this community. All the employees are people residing in the surrounding community.

Mr. Moore, at the close of canning operations, released the following statistics: 27,000 cases of corn and tomatoes packed, 32 truckloads of empty cans were hauled, 477 individual lots of corn and tomatoes were canned, and the canning lasted for 36 days. On Aug. 15, the factory reached its peak of maximum production, when 1,528 cases were canned in 12 hours. For the entire canning season, the hourly output for the factory was 3,057 cans. Yesterday at the close of the 1939 canning season, Mr. Moore served refreshments to his employees, and the employees in return presented Mr. and Mrs. Moore with a beautiful bedspread. Mrs. Minnie Haugh was presented with a piece of aluminum ware by the owner, for her 20 years of faithful and competent service with the company.”

As I mentioned in my previous column, the factory even canned some of that corn and tomatoes for the government during World War II.

It was thoughtful of the employees to show their appreciation with the gift of the bedspread. Mrs. Haugh was also probably pleased to receive an aluminum item, which would have been quite popular then.

The photo above was shared by Jean and Bob Robinson. The Robinson family later ran the Lucky store.

Lucky canning house employees
Lucky canning house employees